There’s no question that I’m a sock-obsessive person, so when I heard about apple “socks” as a means to protect apples from maggots and birds without the use of chemicals, I knew that this was the method for me.
There are official maggot barriers that you can buy from the Seattle Tree Fruit Society, but I’m frugal when I can be, so I searched Amazon to find a cheaper solution. Turns out foot sox not only provide sanitary protection for you feet, but also serve as a nice protective blanket for growing apples. There were some raving reviews and the price was right, so I decided to give it a shot.
I waited until the apples were about the size of the dime, and then I started applying the teeny tiny socks on the itty bitty apples. But first, I had to thin the apple crop, which is always so difficult for me. I hate being the one to suck the life out of a living thing, but thinning the apples prevents the apple tree from a.) not being able to bear the weight of a bunch of apples (my trees are still quite small), and b.) encourages fruit production annually vs. biannually. Turns out I plucked off 136 tiny apples, and left about 30 apples.
Now for the process… All I had to do was slip a nylon over each apple and then slide the apple in about 1-2″ leaving a bunch dangling in order to allow for expansion. Then I used a small rubber band to secure the nylon to the tree. It was that easy. I ended up with about 30 apples 🙂
More detailed process: